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Catch Me If You Know How - Internet Edition Paperback – September 18, 2011
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"Wow!!! This is a must read for everyone. Education, Education, Education. I can't stress it enough. There is information in this book I would never even think of, that is happening all over the world. Help your children, friends and loved ones by becoming knowledgeable about the World Wide Web."
"In clear, concise and easy-to-understand language, provides guidance about the use and misuse of computers and helps us all protect kids from being exposed to often harmful materials on-line. Let him walk you through these basics, we'll all be better off for it."
Stop Child Sexual Abuse, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a book that needed to be written. I've had a personal computer since 1981, and although I'm not a certified computer geek, I know my way around computers fairly well. Even so, I learned a lot of tricks from the book. The book covers a broad range of internet activities, including web browsing, email, social media, chat and instant messaging, and file sharing (peer to peer networks). Each chapter gives very specific ways to examine a computer and determine what a user has been doing. There are screenshots from different browsers (Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, and Chrome) that illustrate the techniques outlined in the book. Unfortunately, my e-ink Kindle is not the best platform for the screenshot graphics that were included. (They were more legible when I loaded the book into my Kindle for PC software.)
Since privacy issues are involved, the book includes a brief but informative overview of privacy rights, including the need to sometimes check with an attorney, and when a call to the police may be in order.
The author refers to his website (catchmeifyouknowhow[dot]com). I took a look, and the website was still in development at the time I wrote this review, but it looks like it will be a valuable resource, with a blog, tutorials, and videos.
Catch Me If You Know How is a beginner's step-by-step guide to discovering anyone's internet habits! Are your kids and teens on dangerous sites? Is your spouse or employee perusing unsavory sites regarding gambling, guns, drugs or pornography? If you are unsure of the answers, this is definitely the book for you! Travis Morgan's intro to basic computer forensics can be understood and used by any reader; topics include: Web Browsing, Emails, Social Media, Chat and Instant Messaging, Peer To Peer File Sharing and other technologies, as well as advanced tips for monitoring and controlling internet access. Each chapter is broken down into easy-to-read large print sections complete with instructions and diagrams detailing how to search and protect your computer and your family. I am pretty proficient with computers, but I even learned a few things that I have started putting into practice! Although some of the tips and tools may seem like an invasion of privacy, they could save time, money, a marriage or even a life! Better to be safe than sorry." This is a must read for parents in the "tech" generation - even the comic-like illustrations help to get the points across! Highly recommended to all readers!
Rating: On the Run (4.5/5)
*** I received this book from the author (Bostick Communications) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
MY BACKGROUND: Like the author, I, too, am an IT professional (nearly 30 years of experience). Like the author, I'm a father and I want to see my children protected from the evils of the Internet. I don't know the ages of the author's children, but I have four kids ranging from teenagers to elementary-aged kids, and have had to increasingly ramp up my ability to protect our home. Even as an an IT pro, I find it challenging to ensure I'm safeguarding my home network and to balance the need to monitor what my kids are doing while at the same time giving them greater liberty and freedom to make choices for themselves.
THE AUTHOR'S GOAL: The author's stated goal is to "help (you) understand basic computer forensics...." The underlying idea is that you can't address a problem unless you know that a problem even exists. The potential problems with Internet usage is the exposure to pornography, deviant behavior, bomb-making, suicide methods, and more. As a parent, if your child (or spouse!) is involved in something like this, you will likely want to know this -- ostensibly, so you can confront the person whom you love with the hope of helping them (and that can mean many different things to different people). This book, then, attempts to teach you how to discover computer usage for illicit reasons.
If the goal is to help understand basic computer forensics, the challenge is this: offer too much information of a technical nature to non-techie people, and no one can understand you or be able to do all the things you suggest. And if you offer too little information, then you give someone a false sense of security that all is well, when what it might mean is that the other person's ability to cover their tracks surpasses the ability of this book to detect bad behavior on the Internet.
And that's the problem I see with this book. It very lightly touches on web browsers, email clients, web email, instant messaging, peer-to-peer networks, social media websites, Google searches, network routers, and parent control/monitoring software. If you're not a tech-minded person, that is an overwhelming list to deal with. But if you're a techie, that list isn't bad at all -- but the information in this book is too rudimentary to be of any use to you.
Put another way, my teenaged son would easily and handily skirt the forensic techniques described in this book if I relied on this book to monitor his Internet usage.
So who is this book good for, then?
I think the ideal reader is someone who knows a little about computers, doesn't have an IT background, isn't regarded as a "techie" by other people, but is someone who wants to learn about computers and has a natural curiosity to acquire IT-related skills, particularly how to monitor computer activities performed by another person. Unfortunately, I don't think a lot of people fall into this category. For an IT guy like myself, there was nothing new that this book taught me. For a non-IT person like my wife, she would be too ovewhelmed and left with too little information to knowlegably and confidently perform an audit of my son's computer laptop.
If you don't have an IT background and aren't otherwise computer savvy, your best course of action is to forego performing any computer forensics yourself, and hire an IT pro who can do that for you. That will cost you much more than the price of this book, but you would most likely get much greater value from a professional scouring someone's computer hard drive than trying to do that yourself.
The author does point out that there are laws that dictate what you can and cannot legally do to someone's computer (even if that person is your spouse or child), and it would be best to consult with a lawyer firstly to know what you can legally do if you want to unearth what someone is doing on the Internet. That's good advice, for sure.
CONCLUSION: I applaud what the author is trying to do with this book -- helping to equip parents and others to discover dangerous or harmful Internet habits of someone you love or care for. But, in many cases, this book will simply be either too much or too little information.